A SOLICITOR representing an Innishannon man who is accused of assault causing harm to his mother told a court this week that issues are arising over his client’s fitness to plea.
Plunkett Taaffe flagged the issue at Clonakilty District Court in relation to Dean Coughlan with an address at Ballycoughlan, Innishannon who was facing two alleged theft charges which occurred a week before the more serious charge of assault causing harm.
Mr Taaffe said he was seeking a report on the issue of his client’s fitness to plea and that if his client is found to be unfit to plea then he would have to go straight to the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum. He sought an adjournment on the theft charges to July 19th.
Mr Coughlan had appeared at Bandon District Court on Monday when the court was told that he may face more serious charges arising from the same incident where he is accused of assaulting his mother, Mary Coughlan at their home on June 4th.
At a court sitting last month, a report from a consultant psychiatrist in Cork Prison said that Mr Coughlan has a long history of ‘paranoid schizophrenia and polysubstance drug abuse’ and is awaiting a place at the Central Mental Hospital but that there is a long waiting list.
MrTaaffe said his client was under the impression that a book of evidence would be ready. However, Judge James McNulty said there was no mention of this at the last court sitting.
Insp Emmet Daly told the court that thorough and broad investigations are still ongoing which needed further enquiries from other agencies and said that there isn’t direction from the DPP yet.
‘The injured party has returned home in the last week and needs to be approached to make statements but also needs time to recover,’ said Insp Daly.
‘Forensics are ongoing, too, and it’s far too early to talk about a book of evidence but investigations are ongoing. There is also likely to be more serious charges which may go to another court.’
Judge McNulty said the State has to be afforded the time to complete its investigation and said it was reasonable to allow it more time to do this. He adjourned all matters to July 19th.